This sub-collection presents United States government records that document debate and decisions related to Native American affairs. The collection currently includes Documents Relating to the Negotiation of Ratified and Unratified Treaties With Various Indian Tribes, 1801-1869 and the Office of Indian Affairs, Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
American Indian treaties, like all treaties in American history, require ratification by the United States Senate to become law. Treaties negotiated with Indian peoples in the United States (the original treaties are part of record group 11, which is not currently digitized) are often a valuable source of information for researchers interested in American Indian policy. So too are the supplementary documents that offer context and additional information for the treaties. This collection includes instructions to treaty commissioners, reports, letters, and in some cases copies of the treaties.
Descriptions from the List of Documents Relating to the Negotiation of Ratified and Unratified Treaties With Various Indian Tribes, 1801-1869, a printed finding aid produced by the National Archives, have been entered beneath each treaty title. This information lists the instructions, records of treaty council proceedings and correspondence for each treaty where such exists and was included in the original National Archives record set.
For scholars interested in US history and more specifically government interaction with Native American populations, the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (later the Bureau of Indian Affairs) is a critical resource. This record set, in combination with the recently digitized Ratified and Non-Ratified Indian Treaties collection, will form the starting point for 19th and early 20th century investigation of Indian Policy, Law, or Native-Newcomer interaction.
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